• Club Number 18039
  • District 9685
  • Chartered 1946

Club News

Letter from Brazil – James Dodd

Welcome to my fortnightly newsletter.  I am currently on university holidays, so sleeping in and relaxing have been high on my list of things to do.  Right now it is a little bit scary that I’m half-way through my exchange.  It is now 6 months until I arrive back in Australia!

My holidays haven’t been very packed but I have been up to some things.  I at least caught up on sleep for once.  Uni is starting again next week so I will have to get back into the routine of getting up at 6:30am instead of midday (lunch time).  However, it will be good to see all of my classmates again.  I have been ‘hitting the town’ with some of them during the holiday and it was good to see them outside uni.  I have received my marks from last ‘bimestre’:  Calculus I (99); Linear Alegbra (90); Informatics (95); Digital Electronics (90–100?); Basic Electricity (90–100?). For Digital Electronics and Basic Electricity I still haven’t received my results, so I put what I think I will get.

It is always a great feeling when you see the postman at the front door with a box.  My parents sent me a box full of things that every exchange student would need.  I received more Australian lapel pins to give away (I had run out), new shoes and of course TimTams.  I have found out (from talking to other exchange students) that TimTams are only sold in Australia, New Zealand and India.  They only appear in India in the speciality import shops, so they are ridiculously expensive.  Must be a good marketing opportunity for someone!

Now I am a guest member at Olimpico country club, I have been going every day, playing tennis there every afternoon.  I will start training properly soon so I can get my fitness back to where I was before the HSC.  I have also been swimming there and going to the sauna.  The sauna has been great to relax after playing or even just after a long day.

Rotary over the last few weeks has been a bit hectic.  Last weekend my Rotary Club had a party for the President’s Changeover.  It was a very grand party and nearly all of the Rotarians were there.  I received some gifts from the Club including an official football shirt of Brasil and the Brasilian flag.  I addressed the meeting by saying a few words of thanks to the current president and toasting the new president.  The picture shows me in my Australian blazer, draped in the Brasillian flag, sharing one of the toasts with the Rotarians.

Last Saturday my family had a joint birthday party for both of my host nephews who turned 7 years old.  I spent the afternoon setting up the house with balloons and making the nibbles for dinner.  I joined in with the little kids and ate lots of sugar.

On Sunday, I went to the current President’s house for a family barbeque.  It was great to be accepted into another family and be treated like a son.  After lunch, he took me to an old abandoned airport where he goes every Sunday afternoon to race remote control model cars.

The fellow racers in Maringá have built a track on the old runway.  The cars were to scale 1:10 and were incredibly fast.  The fastest car went from 0–100km/h in 1.9 seconds and had a top speed of about 120–130km/h.  The cars run on a mixture of 80% methanol and 20% nitro.  It was amazing to see the amount of tuning and fixing that went into managing the cars.  When it started raining, we all piled into the back of a Kombi van to watch the World Cup Final.

Currently there is a German Exchange Student in Maringá, who I went to the Amazon with.  We’ve caught up several times.  He will be leaving for Germany in 3 weeks and then there will just be Australians here.  It is great to catch up with other exchange students before they leave.  Even though I might never see them again, they are people I will never forget.

So 6 months to go.  It’s all downhill from here.  I hope your first 6 months without me wasn’t too hard, but I’ll be back in 6 months today!

James Dodd


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